I recently bought a condo that I discovered after the fact to have a "Recirculating Range Hood" over my gas stove. My smoke alarm consistently sounds off when I cook.

My HOA has denied multiple requests to install a exhaust system that will vent to my patio because I can't make a new hole in the stucco wall inside my partially enclosed patio.

I have a small room connected to my kitchen that has a ceiling exhaust fan that expels onto the patio. The gas dryer also has an independent exhaust line that vents to the patio as well.

Is there anything wrong with taking the ceiling exhaust in my laundry room and rerouting it about 10 feet to my kitchen to use as a range hood exhaust?

  • 1
    Are you planning to remove the ceiling exhaust fan? Have you checked to make sure the ducting for the exhaust fan is adequate for a range hood (proper size, material, length, etc.)?
    – Tester101
    Jun 13, 2015 at 0:09
  • 1
    Where is this? What country and region?
    – wallyk
    Jun 13, 2015 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


Your condo violates Code and is unsafe, and your HOA consists of idiots

First off -- your condo's existing setup, with a recirculating hood over a domestic gas appliance, is quite clearly a Code violation and a flagrant safety hazard, as IFGC 503.3 strictly prohibits the recirculation of gas appliance exhaust due to the unacceptable CO buildup that would otherwise occur:

503.3 Design and construction Venting systems shall be designed and constructed so as to convey all flue and vent gases to the outdoors.

Second, that ceiling exhaust in the laundry room likely was installed to service the dwelling unit -- you'd need to replace that ventilation system in order to reuse the existing exterior penetration for the range hood duct, and that leaves you back where you started.

However, if you can have an engineer analyze your ventilation situation as per Chapter 4 of the IMC and determine that the vent fan in the laundry room is indeed not necessary to provide Code-compliant ventilation to the dwelling unit as a whole, then you can disconnect the ductwork from the laundry room vent fan and reuse that penetration for the range hood, provided that the duct meets the conditions given in IMC 505.1 for domestic range hood ducts:

505.1 Domestic systems Where domestic range hoods and domestic appliances equipped with downdraft exhaust are located within dwelling units, such hoods and appliances shall discharge to the outdoors through sheet metal ducts constructed of galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or copper. Such ducts shall have smooth inner walls, shall be air tight, shall be equipped with a backdraft damper, and shall be independent of all other exhaust systems.

  • Thanks for the response @ThreePhaseEel. I was continuing to read up on IFGC code: 501.8 Appliances not required to be vented. The following appliances shall not be required to be vented -Ranges -Built-in domestic cooking units listed and marked for optional venting -Hot plates and laundry stove -Type 1 clothes dryers -A single booster-type automatic instantaneous water heater -Refrigerators -Counter appliances -Room heaters listed for unvented use -Direct-fired makeup air heater
    – wsisto
    Jun 15, 2015 at 18:33
  • @wsisto -- that means you can have a gas range without a hood. I suspect that if venting is provided for the appliance, it still must follow IMC 503.3/505.1, though -- it's not legal to have a noncompliant vent system simply because the appliance says it doesn't strictly need it. Nov 17, 2016 at 2:05

Maybe his range hood is not even recirculating. The first house I bought had a range hood. I thought it would be nice to duct it outside, but when I started to take it apart I found that it had already been configured that way, so it was actually doing nothing at all. After contemplating the project for a while, I just configured it for recirculation, and that turned out to be enough.

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